For that budget, I'd look at the PSB Image series. Here's a very positive review of a 5.1 system based on the Image T6:
The reviewed system comes in at $2625, just over your budget. If that's simply too much, consider the step-down T5, C5 or C4 center, and B5 or B4 bookshelf speakers for the surrounds. Alternatively, you could use the S5 bipole surrounds, which would give you a more diffuse surround soundfield than the bookshelf speakers. In your case, a diffuse soundfield might be better since they will be only 1-2 feet from the back row.
For a discussion of the relative merits of bipole, dipole, and monopole surround speakers, see our poll here:
The subwoofer in the HomeTheater.com review was the SubSeries 5i subwoofer, but I don't see it on the PSB website, so it may be discontinued. I'd get the largest one you can afford (and fit in the room) after buying the rest of the speakers.